Monthly Archives: March 2015

Fountain Update

The fountain is done. I spent 14 hours in the studio on Saturday, had to re-throw all the flowers because the original ones were too big, pieces fell off many many times… it was kind of an ordeal. But it’s done. Standing proud at 16″ tall.


I’m too tired for words.

Here are pictures of the different angles and details:

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Carving Detail

I said that the second post this week will be a fountain update, but it won’t be. Go figure.

What I will share instead is a decorating technique that I’ve been using recently. The technique is – making quickie paper stencils and using them for intricate carved designs. The main benefit of this is that it allows you to create complex carved patterns on a comfortable flat surface and then incorporate it into a pot, rather than carving a curved surface that has no support behind it. Plus, if you mess up a carving, the pot isn’t ruined, just re-do the carving.

Check it out:

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I also cut round holes into the round parts with a whole puncher and bent the carved bits slightly to flow better with the shape. The most time-consuming part of the whole process is cleaning up the carvings. All in all, this pot probably took 3 hours to complete.

And a couple of other samples I did last week using the same technique:

Photo Mar 23, 6 46 23 PM  Photo Mar 23, 6 46 12 PM

On a totally unrelated note, what do you think of the slideshow format for picture series?


I don’t know if you know… but in addition to doing my own projects and teaching pottery, I also take a class. Well, the latest project we’re working on is – fountains. I’ve never done one before, so there’s a mix of excitement, uncertainty, and swirling ideas going on in my head at this point. Unlike a mug or even a candy dish, if you design a fountain wrong, you might have some real (possibly hilarious) trouble on your hands. So I am starting out by setting some ground rules for what my design must include, doing “research” on Pinterest, and drawing up a few sketchers, which is what I want to share with you today.

If any of you out there reading this have made fountains, please please share your experience in the comments.

Must-Have Features

  • Basin for the pump on the bottom
  • Plan for a tube to go to the top
  • Make sure that all the water returns to where it came from (basin)
    • Water can’t flow below the pump or on the ground
    • Water can’t splash out too much

I would like for the water to flow in an interesting way (e.g. around the fountain in the flower sketch).

The Idea

I put together a few sketches over a few weeks and looked around on Pinterest. Here’s my fountain Pinterest board… and here are the sketches

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Finally one day I was dialed into an online meeting and the idea came to me to make a cactus-inspired fountain. The water would flow between cactus blossoms and I can glaze it in Mayco malachite. Here’s where I got so far:

I’ve got a pile of spare cactus parts in the studio at the moment and they’re almost ready to be put together. You can expect a fountain update later this week. Stay tuned….


I’m ba-ack!

Recently my blogging has really dropped off because I’ve been traveling a lot for work.

Well, I just got back from my last trip on this work project and it is time to get back to regular pottery posting. This post is mostly just to let you all know that I haven’t fallen off the face of the pottery earth. And here’s a preview of a series I’m working on – carved and modified vases:


Working Out Design Kinks

One of the things I’m working on now is creating a few new designs to sell at craft fairs in the summer. It’s a challenge because craft fair creations need to be relatively simple to make, not too big, and not too expensive. But still fun to make because it’s not like i’m making a living off these things and HAVE TO do them. If you follow my blog, you know that I enjoy making things that are technically challenging and not easy to make.

I figured i could do something with soap dishes and came up with this cut-out design: Photo Mar 08, 5 53 01 PM

I like how it looks even without any color. However, from a functional perspective it’s lacking – the soap drippings would go right on the counter. So I’d have to make a tray for it. But the handles would stick out… No good. Here’s another incarnation: Photo Mar 08, 5 52 34 PM

And a variation on that with coils to create the same pattern instead of it being carved:Photo Mar 08, 5 52 39 PM

This design would be fine for dish sponges, to let them dry. Looks fine, but i’m deeply unexcited by the concept.

I think the next thing to do with this will be to create a tray with handles into which the carved piece will fit. That’ll make the dish functional and easy to clean. Stay tuned…

Tuesday Update

I think this will be the way to do it: thrown walls, slab bottom, and slab top:

Photo Mar 10, 9 17 39 PM